With the advent of ride sharing apps, Lyft is one that has somewhat risen to prominence. With drivers in cities all the way from Los Angeles to Brooklyn, the Lyft service, which utilizes normal drivers in their personal cars with easily identifiable gigantic pink mustaches on their front bumpers, is growing as users are taking both the time to ride and drive.
Need a ride? Just plug in your location via GPS using the Lyft app, and a driver (who will be verified with a photo and a phone call) will come right to you. You hop in, tell them where to go, and you’re set. Benefits for you? It’s typically cheaper than a cab, and it’s much more social. Benefits for the driver? They can work wherever they want, and tips – due to the cheapness of the fare – are typically pretty darn good.
If you’re going to try Lyft in any of the cities featured on their website, we recommend considering these five tips before you hop in. Check them out!
Always Verify Drivers
Lyft does complete a thorough background check for each of its drivers (but we don’t necessarily know the details of what those actually are). Each time you request a ride, a photo of the driver and his or her car will pop up on your phone. You’ll also likely get a phone call from them to confirm you are ready to go, and boom, you’re set.
We’re not saying that Lyft hires any potential serial killers or psychos, but do realize that hey, you’re getting in a car with a complete and total stranger. Simply put, just use your intuition when hopping in the vehicle. While cab companies provide their own vehicles and have a roster of drivers with set work schedules, Lyft offers a little more freedom to its employees, offering a work-when-you-want-to type of system.
Be Ready For Your Ride
If you’re having a night out on the town in an area with a lot of foot traffic and need a ride home, sometimes the Lyft driver will go to a nearby location within walking distance to avoid crazy cabbies. Most drivers are usually within 5 to 10 minutes away when you request them, but do take that time to get to the agreed location in which the driver will pick you up – don’t leave them hanging.
For some people, Lyft is often an introductory form of income when they move to a new city or may be their current full-time gig between jobs. It’s a very important resource for drivers, and any extra time waiting on you prevents them from moving to the next rider.
Rate Your Driver Honestly
The Lyft community requires a great deal of user input, so when you’re asked to rate your driver at the end of the trip, take it seriously. If you had a poor experience, let Lyft know. How else can they be aware that your driver nearly ran over three pedestrians on your way to the airport? On the other hand, if the driver was wonderful, make it rain with those stars. This way Lyft can know who their best employees happen to be!
It’s unfortunate that ratings have to be the check-and-balance system for Lyft rather than proper supervisors and such, but it’s simply the nature of the beast. With a service app based on social interaction, that’s just how it has to be.
Embrace The Social Culture
Cabbies are sometimes silent. Lyft drivers are almost required to be talkative. The whole concept of Lyft is about taking people with their own individual stories and backgrounds and then placing them in one of the most intimate settings possible: a car! It’s an interesting way to socialize and is very different to most social media concepts.
While somewhat unconventional, give your driver the customary fist bump and get to know them! You may never see them again, so enjoy the time while it lasts.
Please Do Tip
American tipping culture is a little confusing for some, and we know that. While Lyft hasn’t quite made its way outside of the U.S., we’re sure that it will happen sometime in the future. Tipping is a little different for this service – the app suggests a “donation” of sorts. That said, if you happen to be visiting the U.S. and opt to utilize Lyft (which would probably be a good idea anyway) you’ll likely be expected to tip. Just keep that in mind.
It also appears that most drives have a $5 minimum, and while there’s no “socially acceptable” percentage as of yet, the 15-20% standard may still apply. Note: If you are a Lyft driver, we really would appreciate your input on this subject matter!
Have you used a Lyft yet? What other ride sharing services have you tried out? Do you have any tips for using ride sharing services?